Live recordings

Bedřich Smetana
My Country

Opening Concert of Prague Spring 1996

London Classical Players

Sir Roger Norrington

live on 12th May 1996, Rudolfinum, Prague

Bedřich Smetana: My Country

Smetana’s cycle of symphonic poems has successfully passed the test of time. Since 1882, when it was first performed in full, it has proved its vitality and ability to appeal to audiences of different times and origin, and has acquired a thoroughly exceptional status in Czech culture as a symbol of cultural and national pride.

However, the way of interpreting musical compositions does alter through time, and thus, what we are used to hearing today as My Country may be somehow different from what the poems sounded like in Smetana’s time.

In correspondence with the trend of historically informed interpretation, the Prague Spring Festival invited London Classical Players and Sir Roger Norrington to perform My Country at the opening concert of the 51st festival. LCP rank among the best ensembles focusing on historically accurate orchestral interpretation, especially of a classical and romantic repertoire ranging from Haydn to Brahms.

It was for the first time that the Prague Spring was opened by a foreign orchestra and a foreign conductor, and thus had been expected with much anxiety. LCP proved by their heartfelt and spontaneous performance, which revealed different colours and sound proportions of the composition, that My Country is a truly international piece of music, and that it is refreshing and enlightening to hear an alternative to a traditional conception.

director: Tomáš Šimerda
time: 90 min.